Former Gunner slams Arsenal fans unrealistic expectations

Former Arsenal striker John Hartson has spoken out following the dismal defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday, calling for Arsene Wenger to leave, before adding that expectations from the fans is unrealistic.

The Gunner succumbed to their fourth successive away defeat in a row on Monday, whilst conceding three goals in each of those losses, and pressure is mounting on the manager.

Former Gunner Hartson has now moved to call for his former boss to leave.

“I worked under Arsene Wenger and I’ve always sort of been in the camp of ‘Arsene Wenger’s great, he’s done fantastic, the Champions League qualifications, the money that he brings into the club…’, but I just think now it’s time for him to go,” Hartson said.

“It hurts me to say that because I like Arsene Wenger.

“(But) last night you would call that performance inept. There was a lack of leadership, lack of togetherness. The players are playing as individuals, they don’t look like a team. There’s a lack of fight and that’s four (away) losses on the trot for Arsenal, that’s the first time in 20-odd years that’s happened to Arsene Wenger.”

Hartson then moves on to question the players, claiming they are not worthy of challenging for the Premier League title.

He said: “Why aren’t they challenging at the very top? It’s because I don’t think the players are good enough.

“I think there’s a huge expectancy on Arsenal to be challenging but when you look at some of the players who are taking the field for them, I just don’t think they’re up to it.

“I just don’t think they’re at the standard or the level of a team that are capable of winning the Premier League.

“The expectation of some of these players is through the roof, and it shouldn’t be because they aren’t up to it. And they fact they went out of the Champions League 10-2 to Bayern Munich, that just goes to show the quality of the player that Arsenal are putting onto the field.”

He then moves on to claim that Arsenal will struggle to win another league title, due to their unwillingness to challenge for the best players available, and unless this changes, fans need to stop expecting so much from the side.

He added: “You look at Griezmann this summer, he’s available but you know he’s only going to go to Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City because he’ll probably cost around the £80million mark and he’ll go on to over £200,000 (a week) wages. Arsenal don’t pay that. They don’t even entertain that.

“They don’t go in for the top world-class players that become available, so I don’t know where the Arsenal fans really think that the club should be. I don’t think they should be challenging because they’re not good enough to challenge.”

If Wenger leaves and the money isn’t invested to allow a big overhaul, will we have to accept years of mediocrity? Could we become strangers to illustrious top four?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Hartson Wenger


  1. ArseOverTit says:

    So the question is why aren’t we a club that would go in for greiezmann?

    It’s because we spend too much on average players and do not have a board with ambition who want to invest, recruit and be the best! Other clubs have done it but our sole raison d’etre is profit. Hence the years of mediocrity.

  2. RSH says:

    we love to pretend we’re broke. And Wenger and the board has been repeating this lie forever. Juventus move into a new stadium after us, and they can now afford players like Higuain. And this is stadium that doesn’t even have an Emirates deal like we do. The things we have been told have been way off, and/or the budget planning for the stadium was done poorly. How is an Italian club known for not spending too much, outspending us suddenly? They have ambitions to be at the top of Europes elite and they proved it tonight. Meanwhile, Arsenal get embarrassed by Bayern Munich on 10-2 aggregates.

  3. lcebox says:

    Dam have to say i agree i love all our players but Sanchez puts all other Arsenal players to shame.

  4. AY75 says:

    It hurts to think about arsenal now. Wenger’s departure will surely be the first step in the right direction for us this season. If loves arsenal so much, he can go and coach arsenal tula, or arsenal de sarandi after he leaves

  5. The troll formerly known as robin vanpayslip says:

    I have alot of respect for Hartson but he needs to stop speaking out of his backside.

    Alot of fans like myself were very loyal right up to 4 years ago. Why? We were told that the club is making this sacrifice so the stadium can be paid for and then we can compete with anybody. Also we bought Ozil, Sanchez and Cech in 3 consecutive windows. And Gaizidis said we can buy anyone except Messi or Ronaldo. And Wenger spent over £100m in the summer window.

    So this is all nonsense. Money is there, players are good but we still keep failing. That is down to one man only and it’s a shame that alot of people keep coming out in his defence.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      It’s not Hartson you have a problem with then. He is pointing how things are. He wants us to be targeting players like Greizmann, but he’s aware of our circumstance.

      1. The troll formerly known as robin vanpayslip says:

        He seems a bit confused. He is taking one example of a player to prove his point but ignores the fact that the club have signed players like Ozil and Sanchez and would probably offer both of those more than the salary he states.

        What is signing Greizmann exactly going to do? Would it have stopped arsenal conceding 3 at palace? I doubt it. Would his signing have made arsenal win the game 4-3? I doubt it.

        Like i said, i have alot of respect for Hartson but he is letting his own views cloud his judgement. This squad is good enough to be doing much better than it is. That is kind if the point………

    2. Gavana says:

      100M in one player? Make your home work properly!

  6. Raoh says:

    Based on the financial attraction that is the emirates and Arsenal football club as an entity those expectations aren’t unrealistic. But with the wrong leadership at the top (the board, Gazidis, Kroenke) which:
    -isn’t holding individuals accountable (players, staff, scouts)
    -is giving a single individual, a coach to much power and freedom to call all the shots on everything in a world where coaching alone has become a daunting task specially in the EPL
    -unable to make timely decision and set goals and record straight
    -failing to find a Director of Football when David Dein departed
    -lack of transparency

    Actions speak louder than words. I don’t care what Theo or Ramsey among others said in front of a camera, they aren’t playing like they want to save Wenger’s job. On the contrary it seems that more than half the team is on stand by waiting to see who will be the new man if there is one. More so if they would not only fit in or/and finally be able to have some ambition. It could create an array of extended contracts or a massive exodus.

    It does seem that quite a few player depending on how you see it would perform much better and be put in there best position under a new man. Players like Ramsey, Ox, Bellerin and Gibbs among others.
    Ultimately when the board made the choice of a self sustained model hence deciding on Kroenke over Usmanov, it wasn’t a bad idea in itself (just look at Bayern). But no matter how great the idea if it is managed and lead by poor individuals it will look really bad both inside and outside. And now the ugliness is clear for everyone to see.

  7. Break-on-through says:

    I think he made allot of fair points. We can say the money is there, but it hasn’t been available to the extent it is at other clubs, so he has a point. We keep saying how or why are we still going with some of these players who have proven time and again at not being up to scratch, so again he has a point on quality. We can say it is Arsene who put these players here, and kept them, but he is talking about the expectations one would have if the best was signed, which will rarely occur. We often here our players being described as average. Good money was spent, but not in the same league as some others.

    I believe we need a new manager, simply because it’s not working so we have to try something else. I still believe Hartson is not wrong with what he says.

  8. Marty53 says:

    I believe that what Hartson said is totally correct. We bandy words like world class around too much these days. If you were to pick a world 11 today would any of our players actually get in ( even Sanchez and Ozil on current form would struggle on current form ). As has been said frequently we have a lot of players who were put on massive contracts in the hope that they would become world class players but have been proved to be just good average PL standard.

    1. Like Ramsey, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Walcott, Debuchy and to some extent El Neny….all earning good money but producing nothing on the pitch…and that’s if they are on the pitch at all.

  9. Splendid says:

    They fact that Saido Mane and Ngolo Kante were available in the summer and Wenger went for Xhaka and Perez sums it all for me.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs